Research Collections


Papers of Sandy Hobbs

Left Wing Activist

Reference codes, titles and dates of Archive

Reference Code: GB1847 SH
: Papers of Sandy Hobb
Date of Creation of material
: 1945-1997
Level of description
: Fonds
: 3 metres

Biographical history

Name of Creator: Alexander (Sandy) Hobbs.
Biographical history
: Alexander Hobbs, or Sandy as he is known, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1937. From 1954 to 1958 he studied psychology at the University of Aberdeen.  Although not an actively political student he was a member of a small informal circle who saw socialism, humanism and science as intimately linked and around this time became a member of the Aberdeen Humanist Group.  After graduating in 1958 he continued at the University as a postgraduate although he never completed his PhD.  As a postgraduate he became heavily involved in political and cultural activities, becoming the first secretary of Aberdeen Left Club. The Chair of the Club was Ken Alexander, pictured with Lois Kemp and Sandy Hobbs below. Sandy was also a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), New Left and attended many regional and national meetings, becoming friendly with, amongst others, ex-communists such as Norman and Janey Buchan.  In the run-up to the 1959 General Election Sandy worked nearly full-time for the South Aberdeen Labour candidate and joined the party, remaining a member for 12 years.  He was also an “outside” member of the Fife Socialist League.  Around this time the Labour Party founded the Young Socialists and Sandy’s political activities focused on this part of the Labour Party until he left Aberdeen in 1961. Ken Alexander (later Sir Kenneth), Lois Kemp and Sandy Hobbs at Kings College, University of Aberdeen, 1961.  Ken was Chair of Aberdeen Left Club and Sandy was Secretary. In 1961 Sandy married a fellow student, Lois Kemp, a leading member of the student CND and daughter of Labour Party Activist William Kemp. Through his association with the Young Socialists, Sandy came into contact with various Trotskyist groups who were working within the Labour Party at the time.  As a result he became close to the Labour Worker group but was never a member.  He joined the Dundee Left Club but became more active in the CND, especially in publicising Scottish CND.

In 1965 Sandy moved to Glasgow becoming more involved in the adult Labour Party, chairing his local branch and acting as Janey Buchan’s campaign manager for a local government election.  He was again involved in the election campaigns for the 1970 General Election after which time he resigned from the Labour Party, having become disillusioned by Harold Wilson’s government.  At this time a number of single-issue campaigns were gaining in prominence and Sandy became involved with the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) and the Glasgow Committee Against Racism.  In 1968 Sandy started as a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Commerce where he chaired the Staff Association.  In 1969 he moved to Jordanhill College of Education, Glasgow, where he was involved in the Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland (ALCES).  A further move to Paisley College, Renfrewshire, Scotland, (later the University of Paisley) in 1975 resulted in his membership of the Association of Lecturers in Scottish Central Institutions (ALSCI).

Upon leaving the Labour Party, Sandy became attached to the International Socialists, who later became the Socialist Workers Party.  He was never comfortable with the group and left a few years later in part because he found it much more congenial working on the less sectarian radical paper, Glasgow News.  He also became involved with the Chilean Glasgow demo flyer - Mme Allende speakingCommittee for Human Rights supporting refugees from the regime of Pinochet.  For a time, he rejoined the Labour Party again as a way of forwarding the work of this Committee.  From the mid-1970s onwards Sandy dropped out of active politics while his wife, Lois, continued to play an active part in the Women’s Movement and Glasgow Women’s Aid.  Instead, he concentrated on research, writing and publishing as a lecturer within the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Paisley and qualifying as a Chartered Psychologist which he achieved in 1990.  In 1997, he became a Reader at the University of Paisley and in 2002 became an Honorary Research Fellow concentrating on children and education.

Archival history: Retained by Sandy Hobbs.
Immediate source of acquisition:
Sandy Hobbs, September 1998.

What is in the Archive

Scope and Content abstract: Sandy's papers reflect his areas of activism and have been listed below in chronoligical order by first date.

  • Published materials: miscellaneous political journals 1945-1997
  • South Africa 1948-1994
  • Higher Education Communist Party: Scottish Higher Education Policy correspondence, notes and papers 1957-1977
  • Papers relating to Sandy Hobbs' political affiliations and interests, including: CND pamphlets, correspondence, circulars, newsletters, newspaper 1957-1978
  • Left Fraction Bulletin and associated papers 1958-1974
  • New Left Aberdeen and New Left Scotland news cuttings, papers, correspondence 1959-1972
  • SNP and Scottish nationalism 1959-1968
  • Worker's power 1959-1967
  • Hugh MacDairmid rectorial campaign papers, University of Aberdeen 1960
  • Anti Apartheid Movement 1960  
  • Dundee CND minutes and financial records 1960-1965
  • Fife Socialist League newscuttings and correspondence 1960-1975
  • Miscellaneous political pamphlets and newsletters 1961-1977
  • What influences Labour MPs 1961-1965
  • Press cuttings regarding Norman and Janey Buchan 1961-1991
  • Young Guard 1962
  • Guy Aldred 1962-1971
  • International Socialists Glasgow circulars, correspondence, news cuttings, minutes, leaflets and pamphlets 1963-1978   
  • Peace News newspaper 1963-1971
  • Racist leaflets and pamphlets 1963-1976
  • Labour Worker /Socialist Worker newspaper 1963-1968
  • Press cuttings from Voices of Socialism 1964-1968
  • Papers relating to teaching shortages and other aspects of education 1964-1973
  • Young Teachers Action Committee correspondence, papers and circulars 1965-1966
  • Papers relating to Janey Buchan and Hobbs' as her Agent for 1965 elections and her subsequent political career 1965-1973
  • Workers and management on the railways 1966
  • International Socialists Bulletin 1966-1972
  • Socialism and nationalism in Scotland 1968
  • Edinburgh College of Education circulars and notes 1968-1969
  • Industrial Training notes 1970
  • Papers relating to Sandy Hobbs' employed career including: Association of Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Scotland: Jordanhill Branch (ALCES) minutes, reports and correspondence 1972-1974
  • Chile Solidarity Campaign 1975-1977
  •  7 Days, Scottish radical newspaper 1977-1978
  • Correspondence and news cuttings regarding the People's Palace, Glasgow 1992-1996
  • Art galleries and museums papers

Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Information: This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures.
Accrual: None expected. 
System of Arrangement: The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received.

Getting & using the Archive

Conditions Governing Access:  Open by arrangement with the Archivist.
Copyright/Conditions Governing Reproduction: Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.
Language of Material: English.
Physical Characteristics: None which affect the use of this material.
Finding Aids: Handlist to item or folder level.

Other collections of similar subject matter

Location of Originals: This material is original.
Existence of Copies:
No known copies.
Related units of description
: Part of Glasgow Caledonian University Research Collections -   

Publication note: None to date.

Archive contact

Carole McCallum (University Archivist)
Telephone - +44 (0)141 273 1188
Email -  

Notes relating to the preparation of this description

Description Compilation Details: Compiled by Carole McCallum, University Archivist, 5 June 2007.

Last Updated: 18 August, 2009
Edited by:

Sandy Hobbs 1961